August 19, 2011
On Monday we asked you to support the grassroots recyclers of Bogota, who were being shut out of the city’s recycling contract process.
Yesterday, in a groundbreaking decision, Colombia’s Constitutional Court canceled the city’s exclusionary contracting process, in order to protect the rights of recyclers and the environmental health of the population.
The court order says:
“It is necessary – as a precautionary measure – to suspend Public Tender No. 001 of 2011, to avoid potential harm to the fundamental rights of the (recyclers) and the environmental interests of the population of Bogota – including the right to environmental health and public health…”
The ruling goes on to say that affirmative action for recyclers and that effective, non-marginalizing recycling routes must be part of the contracting process, and if it is not, the courts are prepared to stop it.
This is an important precedent for human rights, the environment, and the zero waste movement, and is due to years of outstanding organizing and advocacy by Bogota’s recyclers movement (the ARB) and its many leaders, including Nohra Padilla Herrera, who brought this case to the Constitutional Court.